IN THE DRAFT: Is NASCAR ready for a crowded Chase?

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Don't you hate it when your best laid plans go awry?

You know what I'm talking about. Just when you think you have everything figured out, all possibilities are covered and then someone changes your plans.

After six races in the Sprint Cup season I believe the NASCAR officials may be scratching their collective heads and are wondering what has happened. I can't remember this much parity in NASCAR. I also know the winners thus far have not been surprises. Every driver who has won a race had won before, so they know where victory lane is. I think who hasn't won is the surprise.

No Tony Stewart. No Jimmie Johnson. No Jeff Gordon or Matt Kenseth. These are drivers who I really expected to have won by now. Jimmie because he is the best. Jeff because of he has the best equipment and he won late last year. Kenseth because he won several last year and Stewart because he thinks others should let him by so he can win.

In reality I kind of expected any of those to have a win because of the thought processes that went along with the changes in the Chase. I don't know who had the theory that if you win a race, you are in the Chase, but that appears to be going out the window and these drivers have found a way to win early and then race for points. It's the same principle that has been around forever.

You have to imagine the four drivers I named are going to win at least one race bringing the total to 10. You can add a few others to that list. Drivers such as Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne are likely to get a win. That would create a logjam of winners.

It shouldn't matter how many races a driver wins, but it is still going to matter how well they do in their consistency week to week. I have always thought consistency should matter. Just because a driver gets one win should not guarantee a spot in the Chase. They need to race every week and make it like their life depended on it.

That was obvious at Martinsville this past weekend. We got 33 lead changes, tempers a bit off kilter and a lot of banged up sheet metal. My only question from the whole weekend was when did Brad Keselowski start thinking he could never be wrong?

His incident with eventual winner Kurt Busch on pit road may have shown that tempers are already short. According to what I saw on the replays he made a knee-jerk reaction on pit road, Kurt had nowhere to go, yet Brad got upset and blamed Busch. Once in while Brad proves he still has a lot to learn and he is following in the footsteps of Stewart. Tony never thinks he is wrong either.

It is on to Texas and the Duck Commander 500. The Robinson clan is everywhere. Watch for Clint Bowyer to win. After all he has appeared on Duck Dynasty. See you after Texas!